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FIRs filed against five Karnataka officials over deaths of manual scavengers, kin get Rs 5 lakh

Sama Begum, the widow of Lal Ahmed, said that her husband and another scavenger died as officials and contractors made them go inside the underground drain (manhole) at Kailasnagar in Kalaburagi

Published: 29th January 2021 05:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th January 2021 05:19 PM   |  A+A-

Manual Scavengers

For representational purposes (Express Illustration)

Express News Service

KALABURAGI: Police of Raghavendranagar Police Station in Kalaburagi have filed an FIR against five people including the Executive Engineer, Assistant Executive Engineer and Assistant Engineer of Karnataka Urban Water Supply & Drainage Board (KUWS & DB) on the basis of a complaint filed by the widow of a deceased scavenger. 

Sama Begum, the widow of Lal Ahmed, said that her husband and another scavenger died as officials and contractors made them go inside the underground drain (manhole) at Kailasnagar in Kalaburagi on Thursday.

The FIR names Assistant Executive Engineer of KUWS &DB Vijaykumar Bilagundi, Executive Engineer Narasimha Reddy, Assistant Engineer Piyush Patil, contractor who is running the outsourcing agency Shafi Ahmed and his supervisor Vijaykumar.

The complaint filed by Sama Begum says that the contractor and officials made her husband Lal Ahmed, Rashid and Raj Ahmed go down the manhole for cleaning at about 1.30 pm on Thursday without making any arrangements for bringing them up. As a result, Lal Ahmed and Rashid died due to suffocation and Raj Ahmed was admitted to the hospital. The officials had not taken any precautionary measures while asking her husband and the others to go into the manhole, she alleged in the complaint.

The Police Commissioner of Kalaburagi told The New Indian Express that the FIR has been lodged on Friday and they have started the investigation into the incident on the same day. "We will take the statements of all concerned and take appropriate action," he said.

Superintending Engineer of KUWS & DB Basavaraj Alegaon told The New Indian Express that the Board has already handed over a cheque of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of the two deceased and borne the medical expenditure of Raj Ahmed who was admitted to the hospital. As he has recovered, he has been discharged from the hospital. Alegaon said that he has submitted a report to the government in this regard.

The bodies of Lal Ahmed and Rashid were handed over to relatives on Friday morning after conducting a postmortem and after that the final rites were conducted.

Meanwhile, the chairman of Karnataka State Safayee Karmacharia Ayoga M Shivanna (Kote) will be arriving in Kalaburagi on Saturday. He will visit the place of the incident at Kailasnagar at 10.00 am and then visit the houses of the deceased at 11.00 am. He will hold a meeting at the DC office at 12.00 pm, official sources said.



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